How to Start a Business and Make it Successful

Starting a business is one thing, but to ensure its success is another challenge altogether. After all, it is very easy to launch your own startup given the accessibility of resources brought about by the internet. The question is how to keep it afloat amidst the competition and challenges. 

For instance, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (or BLS), 20% of new businesses meet failure after two years, 45% after the first five, and 65% after the first ten. Yes, the numbers are quite daunting, especially since they haven’t changed much since 1994. Fortunately, though, there are ways to prevent your business from being part of those numbers. 

Don’t Choose the Right Idea. Choose the Best.

Every business starts with the spark of a single idea. This is probably the reason why you’re reading this article right now because you also want to nurture an idea of your own. They say that the right idea has a high-profit potential. This is the guiding light that a lot of budding entrepreneurs use to determine whether their idea is good enough or not. 

Good enough won’t cut it if you want to be successful, though. Instead, you need the best one. The problem is, the best ideas don’t always seem profitable in the beginning, and a perfect idea that will work for another person may not necessarily work for you. 

There are a lot of factors that you want to consider. First, you should be passionate about it. The perfect idea should inspire you to carry on even if you somehow find yourself on the brink of failure. Second, it should be an idea that you know really well. You must be completely confident with it. Finally, it must achieve the balance between demand and competition. 

Financing Options for Your Business

Once you have refined your idea and have started planning, the next step that one would naturally take is to look for ways to fund the business. The most common option is to apply for a startup business loan. This type of account is specifically formulated to support budding business owners like you to get the investment you require with flexible payment terms that won’t unnecessarily strain the first rough months of business ownership.

Those who are eligible should also look into small business loans for minorities. These loans usually offer lower interest rates and monthly payments. You’ll typically find them being offered by both government and non-government organizations seeking to support viable business ideas coming from people with limited resources.

Research Is Key

A lot of references say that planning is the secret to business success. While this statement certainly has merit, it’s not completely true. Skipping the planning process is recklessness that will most likely lead to failure. Uninformed planning, however, also leads to the same path, if only just a bit slower. 

We strongly believe that research is the real key to achieving your business goals. It will make sure that your plans are well-informed and reliable. There are various factors that you should look into when performing your business research. Some of the main ones that you must focus on are the climate of the industry, your competition, and of course, your target demographic.

Testing is also part of the research process. There are different methods that you can do to test out your ideas, but we find digital solutions to be cheaper and more convenient.

Get Things Sorted Out Early on

The next tip that we recommend is to get the elements of your business sorted out early on. A lot of business owners surprisingly don’t automatically think about the process of getting their business registered or recognized right away. They want to “test out the waters” first, so to speak. 

More problematically, a lot of us also don’t even think to organize our receipts and prepare for our taxes until the last minute. 

We understand that these factors can be quite easy to overlook. They’re also not that enjoyable to do, so it’s easy to put them off. However, it also puts you in the mindset that your business might not lastーa way of thinking that definitely attracts failure.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

One of the signs of a successful business is that it never stops growing. If that’s the case, then you should prepare yourself for the eventuality that one day, you won’t be able to run your business on your own anymore. And that’s okay.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Besides, getting an employee will free you from the more menial tasks that can then let you focus on the more important stuff instead, such as growing your brand and further developing your products and services. 

Be cautious, though. There is a risk in expanding too quickly as well. Hiring an employee is not cheap. A good alternative that smaller businesses can consider is hiring a freelancer, or a brand and web designer instead. The most convenient way to find them is through online job marketplaces like UpWork and Fiverr.

Don’t Be Afraid to Trust Yourself

Finally, you will also encounter times when you won’t be able to rely on anyone but yourself. While we always want to prepare for any type of potential issue in our risk management plans, the truth is, there will come a time when even the most fool-proof plan will fail to forecast an emergency. 

Take our current health crisis, for instance. It all took us by surprise. However, there were a number of businesses who were able to respond fast to the issue and it meant the difference between their business’ survival and failure. They made it possible through the fast decision-making of their management and even faster implementation.

Their owners knew when to trust their hunches and when to hold back. More importantly, they knew when to listen to others and when to trust themselves. This type of confidence and courage is what it takes to lead a small business, and later on, a company.

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.